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3 Things You Should Never Do When Writing a Novel

Writing is a craft, and like any craft, it takes practice. If you're just starting out on your novel, it can be tempting to try every trick in the book—but doing so can cause problems down the road. Here are three things that are best avoided when writing your first novel:

Don't censor your own voice.

It’s easy to get caught up in what other people will think of your writing and try to change it, but that’s not going to help you grow as a writer. Write the book you want to read, not the one that you think other people might want to read.


Don't write just to be writing.

This may sound obvious, but it's important to remember: Don't write just to be writing.

Writing is a journey, not a destination. You should write because you love doing it, not because you feel like you have to. When we write for ourselves first and foremost (and for our readers second), we can relax into the process and let our creativity flourish.

This doesn't mean that every sentence has to be perfect—in fact, sometimes, when I'm feeling stuck on something in my novel or short story, I'll just start typing nonsense words until my brain finds its way back into the story again.


Don't worry about what anyone else will think.

One of the most important things you can do is never worry about what anyone else will think.

You are the only one who can write your book, and that's a good thing because no one else can do it for you. No one knows your characters better than you do; no one knows how to plot their stories better than you do; no one knows more about the world in which your story takes place than you do. Don’t give up on any idea just because someone else doesn't like it (because, let's be honest, someone isn't going to like everything).

If people don't like what I write, then that's okay! Let them read another book by someone else! Why should I change something simply because they don't like it? Write what makes sense for your story and who cares if someone doesn't enjoy reading it?


Follow your inspiration and write the book you want to read!

  • Follow your inspiration and write the book you want to read!

  • Write about what you know.

  • Write about what you love.

  • Write about what you are passionate about.


Writing a novel is a personal experience. You’re telling a story that has meaning to you, and in doing so, you are creating something new in the world. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it! Writing can be very rewarding; if you’re committed to telling your story, it will show through in the quality of your writing.

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